This closes out the first part of my Shield marathon with the final two discs of Season One. There's a lengthy timeline which covers all five episodes and some thoughts on the season as a whole right afterwards. If you want something akin to a more traditional review just 'skip to the end'.
Beyond the link are the episodes "Throwaway", "Dragonchasers", "Carnivores", "Two Days of Blood" and "Circles"...
10:30 – Delayed by my bonsai trees (which are looking very unhappy with the change in weather), weather, making a cup of tea and sorting out what shopping I’ll need later today viewing starts as 10:25. Later than planned, tomorrow I’ll have to start early as friends are coming round in the evening. Must try harder!
10:31 – “Throwaway”
10:31 – This time I quite appreciate the “Previously on The Shield” section, it’s brought me right back up to speed. But it would be nice to have a “Play all without previous sections” the way Supernatural does.
10:32 – Aggressive music, something bad must be happening.
10:33 – Ah it’s a truck robbery.
10:33 – Is that Ronnie’s first dialog? I can’t recall him speaking before now – probably did, I just missed it.
10:34 – Corrine still hasn’t turned into a shrew, but she’s taking steps there.
10:35 – Wang tattoo, blimey – that’s dedication.
10:36 – The team works well without Shane here.
10:36 – Spoke to soon, Lem shot him! He was only holding a carton of cigarettes.
10:37 – Planting a gun on the suspect Vic? Not the first time I’m sure, and it’s definitely not the last.
10:38 – “You shot the wrong guy?”
10:39 – The Shield really does have characters who speak volumes with just a look.
10:40 – An old man chained up in the back yard? I’d call it unbelievable except I’m sure worse things have happened in real life.
10:41 – It’s the son, looks like he’s in trouble.
10:42 – It’s Shepherd Book, wait – no it’s Claudette’s father. Book has more hair.
10:43 – Sob story – “I’m broke so I keep my pa outside. Blame the system.” Hmm, yeah – I’m not buying that book.
10:44 – Lem’s willing to accept that Chako might be a good guy, Vic’s not convinced, fundamental difference between the two men right there. Lem sees the good in people, Vic sees the bad.
10:45 – Claudette looks worried that Dutch and her father might be friends.
10:46 – I reckon Lem’s going to protect the sister.
10:46 – Yup, there you go. He’s been making eyes at her all episode.
10:47 – I wonder if the writers of the show could only manage dialog for three characters in a scene. Cause Ronnie’s talking a lot now Shane’s away in Vegas.
10:47 – So the plan is to make the gun disappear from evidence? Hmm…
10:48 – “We’ve hired a babysitter we don’t trust with the kids?” Look out Vic, Corrine’s starting to slide into nagging territory.
10:48 – Vic’s buddying up with Julien a little.
10:49 – No matter how hard I try, I can’t help but like Lem.
10:50 – Don’t diss Lem’s haircut lass, he’s got a great do.
10:51 – Looks like Lem’s off on a loose cannon over the “H” cut into the girl.
10:52 – He’s really got a temper when women are being abused. You don’t want to press Lem’s buttons.
10:53 – How’s Lem protecting the sister when he’s here in the Barn?
10:53 – Hah, Claudette’s barred Dutch from contact with her father.
10:54 – Ack! Danny failed the Sergeant’s exam by three points.
10:54 – Broken toilets.
10:55 – Lem’s admitted he shot Chako!
10:56 – Nice bike Lem, nice bike
10:58 – Back out of there Dutch before Claudette kills you for sticking your nose in her family business.
10:59 – She’s a pretty one Dutch, but I’m sure she’s a bit crazy, or maybe just very lonely.
11:00 Typical, now Dutch is with a hot woman Danny expresses a bit of interest in his life.
11:02 – Vic’s really laying on the ‘pals’ thing thick with Julien, Julien’s pretty on edge about it. Not surprising really.
11:03 – Lem might have a nice bike, but he’s got a rubbish helmet.
11:04 – This guy is having is “ring” tattooed? “Wash your hands first.”
11:05 – Ah, so they’re going to hit the gun truck, steal the evidence and set up Hector in the process. Smooth moves.
11:05 – Vic looks funny with a bandana over his face and sunglasses.
11:06 – Nice bit of extrapolation there Vic. Now Hector’s in the frame.
11:07 – Is Claudette going to interrogate her daughter’s fiancé. I think she is.
11:09 – I never get tired of these fast chases through decrepit houses.
11:10 – Aceveda’s going to play marriage counsellor for Julien and Danny now.
11:11 – And Corrine starts her slide into harpy land. Whinge, whinge, whinge.
11:12 – “Why do your kids hate you so much?” “I was a bastard.”
11:13 – Seems Claudette learnt a lesson there.
11:13 – Told you Lem was going to get a little from her, but even now he tries to admit the truth of the whole mess to her. It’s all cool though, he made it right.
11:14 – Time to make another cup of cha.
11:18 – The bottom of the fridge is clean and I have a fresh cup of tea, time to carry on watching.
11:19 – Dragonchasers
11:19 – Return of the “face down hooker serial killer” in the previously section, which means he’ll be in the episode hooray!
11:20 – More semi-nakedness, this time Vic’s getting a lapdance.
11:21 – Ah, it’s a sting. The rest of the guys are listening on a wire.
11:21 – What the heck, is that guy masturbating in an alleyway – he is!
11:22 – It was a sting, but she wasn’t the target. Vic just got himself a little something extra from the stripper. Ladies love a little Mackey.
11:23 – Hah Ronnie used his own name, and his pick up technique sucks. I guess the moustache is just for show.
11:23 – Some women just shouldn’t have kids. Connie is one of them.
11:25 – “God’s still here, we just sublet.” Aceveda on the fact that the Barn used to be a church.
11:26 – Dutch’s Serial-Killer-Senses are tingling.
11:27 – Looks like Shane’s caught himself a winner. Apparently he’s packing nine inches too.
11:28 – Ronnie’s upset about being pulled out of the strip club because of his poor chat up technique.
11:28 – Shane’s caught himself a winner. Shame he had to get hit in the head to do it.
11:29 – Julien, what have you done to Danny? She’s been bitten and covered in blood from a HIV positive transsexual.
11:30 – “You brought a prostitute’s child home?” – This time Corrine is quite right to complain.
11:31 – The masturbator fits the profile, Dutch’s serial killer-fu is on full tilt!
11:32 – It’s Ronnie who’s drawn the short straw and has to look after Connie. She’s already slapped him and thrown up.
11:33 – I wonder if Vic looks after Connie because it allows him to play the gallant knight to the rescue? It panders to his ego, that’s probably the reason.
11:34 – The stripper who attempted to rob Shane’s putting the moves on him. I’m sure Shane will ‘rise’ to the occasion.
11:34 – Oh sorry, she’s not a stripper she’s a “dancer”.
11:36 – Careful Dutch, this guy’s dangerous.
11:38 – Looks like this reporter is looking to sniff around the Strike Team.
11:39 – Shane’s convinced the guy is the ringleader, Lem’s convinced the girl is. Money on the girl being the one behind it
11:40 – “Blanket party” – now that’s a chilling term.
11:40 – Looks like the masturbator has Dutch’s ticket and plans to wind him up.
11:41 – More Corrine whining.
11:42 – Amazingly Vic’s talking about the past, but it’s about Connie and Brian the baby. Or it could just be lies to placate Corrine.
11:45 – Looks like someone’s going down for a ride under a blanket.
11:46 – LOL, go Shane. Better switch the CCTV fast Vic, that’s not the police/public relations you want to advertise.
11:46 – Looks like Dutch is getting ripped into in that interview room.
11:47 – An uneasy alliance between Vic and Aceveda. Won’t be the last of these.
11:47 – Hah, Shane. Looks like Tulips played you too.
11:48 – And now she’s putting the screws into you Shane, that’s why you should always use a rubber when having inappropriate sex in an interrogation room.
11:49 – Don’t rob Ronnie Connie.
11:49 – And now the fun starts, Shane and Lem are spectating the footage of the masturbator ripping into Dutch. Let the crowd gather!
11:50 – Alleged rape? Looks like Aceveda has a past too!
11:51 – She’s a butt nose! She quite literally has a butt shaped nose, I’m never sure if they’re cute or not.
11:52 – Can Dutch turn the tables on the masturbator yet?
11:53 – Dutch’s handwriting is bad, better than mine though.
11:54 – Dutch gets his moment, and everyone is watching.
11:55 – Stunned silence in the observation room as the guy admits to seventeen bodies in the house, plus more.
11:56 – Oh bravo Dutch, you deserve that applause. You earned it.
11:57 – How tall is Chiklis by the way? He seems to be shorter than everyone else; you just never notice it because he has such a dominating presence as Vic.
11:58 – Aceveda’s painful confession about an ex to his wife – still hard to watch but he plays it well.
11:59 – Look, Connie gets through detox and immediately hops back off the wagon with Ronnie’s money. Mother of the year material there.
12:01 – It might look bad that Connie is walking away from her son, but it’s actually the best thing she can do for the lad.
12:02 – So that’s a blanket party. There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of a party. Ouch.
12:02 – Dutch the conquering hero heads into his car and breaks down.
12:03 – Best episode of the first season in my opinion. Time for two more then I’ll need to head to the shops.
12:04 – Carnivores
12:05 – Rondell takes a little gunfire, screws Vic’s meet dealing with drugs.
12:06 – Looks like Rondell (and by extension Kern and Vic) have beef with the Nation of Islam.
12:07 – Nails through the feet, wow that looks really painful.
12:08 – He just killed himself; fortunately Julien wasn’t hit in the process.
12:09 – Chiklis’s birthmark on the back of his head bugs me at times.
12:10 – Careful when tangling with religion Vic, careful.
12:11 – Shane looks like he’s going to cry in the background there. Or he’s using the “Smell the fart” technique of acting.
12:12 – Aggressive music again, shit’s going down! This time it’s the Strike Team tossing bodies.
12:14 – That’s T-Bone’s name on the wall there. Is his death being investigated?
12:16 – Ah it’s Aceveda’s ex, mentioned in the previous episode.
12:17 – She’s still somewhat hung up on him, (singing) Craaaaaazieeeeeeeee.
12:18 – The translator’s cute.
12:19 – Matt’s been bumped out of the autistic school because of the newspaper reports on Vic’s “alleged” crimes.
12:20 – More nudity! Side boob.
12:21 – Looks like you’re on the Nation of Islam’s radar Vic, and now they’re talking to Aceveda about this.
12:22 – That’s a lot of dart boards on the wall.
12:23 – Looks like you’ve got an old fashioned sit-in on your hands Aceveda!
12:23 – Thomas is back in the Barn. Stay clear of him Julien, he’s trouble.
12:25 – The interplay between Aceveda and Vic has become a lot less forced now.
12:25 – I suspect Rondell’s time is numbered now.
12:26 – I like that officer, she’s feisty! Then again, Dutch deserved that snark.
12:28 – Don’t throw the drag queen blanket party in Julien’s face Danny. He’s just trying to do the right thing. He’s been a little, mislaid.
12:29 – Sheesh Rondell, don’t go shooting at Vic. He’s got a temper.
12:30 – First time the CCTV camera in the interrogation room is disconnected!
12:31 – Looks like Rondell’s time is numbered; Vic’s got a new dealer.
12:34 – Time to kowtow to the crazy woman David!
12:35 – Vic explains to the head of admissions about police priorities and suggests maybe he can find the ring.
12:36 – Looks like Ronnie’s just lost a $50 bet.
12:37 – Another home invasion. I guess keeping your money in your mattress has risks as well as a lack of interest.
12:39 – Another great chase sequence.
12:40 – Julien faces down a loaded gun unarmed, looks like he almost wanted to get shot. Surely not.
12:41 – Everyone’s impressed with Julien, apart from Danny. She’s not impressed with his attempt at possible suicide. But she knows why he did it.
12:41 – It’s hard watching just how much Julien’s religion and his sexual orientation tear him apart. Cognitive dissonance.
12:42 – Kern and Vic talk, seems Tio’s in and Rondell’s out.
12:43 – And the mattress robbers are caught. Who nails their grandfather’s feet to the floor?
12:44 – And Vic brings back the ring, looks like Matt’s place on the program is assured and Ronnie’s down fifty bucks.
12:46 – And now we find out why the crazy ex hates Aceveda so much. She blames him for what happened to her fifteen years ago, she blames him for the actions of others.
12:48 – Corrine’s quite attractive when she’s not shrilling at Vic. She should smile more.
12:48 – R.I.P. Rondell. Shame, I quite liked him.
12:49 – Hungry, so it’s time for a trip down to the shops before watching the final two episodes of the first season.
13:27 – Now I’ve restocked the kitchen it’s time to watch the last two episodes of the first season.
13:28 – Two Days of Blood.
13:28 – Terry makes a reappearance in the “Previously on The Shield.”
13:29 – Cockfighting, an exceptionally phallic sport if ever there was one.
13:30 – Ah the cockfighting was a cover for a gun deal. Lem’s getting all melancholy over the Roosters.
13:31 – Sounds like there’s a big fish coming to town for the Two Days of Blood. Vic’s got a sniff of him now.
13:32 – Oh man that was a brutal hit and run, the guy was dragged for about thirty yards.
13:32 – Shane’s still defensive about Tulips.
13:32 – Gilroy’s back. What on Earth does he want now? I thought he was done with Vic.
13:33 – Ah, he’s the one who hit the guy in the previous scene.
13:34 – Trust Dutch to know what the record for dragging a body in a hit and run is.
13:36 – Vic’s “helping” Dutch on the hit and run. Somehow I doubt Dutch is going to manage solving this one.
13:37 – You making up gang rituals now Vic? A toss and shoot?
13:38 – This is one seriously brutal pair of murders. Killed with a meat tenderiser and then stuffed into the garbage disposal? OUCH!
13:39 – Oh boy, this is turning into a race thing because of the slow response time from the police.
13:40 – And Gilroy’s already changes his story. Watch yourself Vic, he’s looking skittish.
13:41 – You might be trying to run interference Vic, but Dutch is on the trail and you’ve got no control over him.
13:42 – The man loves his cock. Rooster cock that is.
13:43 – I can buy Shane as a chicken breeder. He’s got the look and the attitude for it.
13:44 – “I don’t wanna shoot anybody today, but that’s up to you.”
13:46 – You should keep quiet Jesus. Vic’s a good friend to have.
13:47 – BANG! Oh come on Vic, didn’t you expect Gilroy to pull a stunt like that?
13:47 – Gilroy’s claiming he’s OK shooting this guy because Vic killed Crowely? No Gilroy, two wrongs. Don’t make a right.
13:48 – No Gilroy, you’re far from good. You don’t go firing guns around near Vic without warning, it makes him edgy.
13:49 – A yard sale selling goods back to the people they stole them from. That’s classic.
13:49 – Dookie!
13:50 – The door’s open Shane. Don’t leave the chicken there.
13:50 – “Oh, your cock’s out!”
13:51 – Dutch smells a rat. Just as Gilroy arrives. The plot thickens.
13:52 – Stock footage of a cock fight!
13:53 – And Shane’s all caught up with the cock fighting, he’s forgotten about the job in hand.
13:54 – And those two poor women got tenderised and ground up for statistics?
13:54 – Aceveda’s taking the fall for this one; Gilroy’s turning into a real pain in the arse.
13:55 – Watch out Vic, that’s one of Jesus’s friends. He can ID you.
13:56 – Vic turns the screw on Julien, distracts Dutch and now Vic puts the pressure on the guy who could ID him.
13:58 – That’s a fast confession, I guess being naked makes you more willing to share.
13:59 – Another piece of the puzzle falls into place for Vic. Looks like Gilroy’s been taking advantage of his powers to buy up real estate cheap.
14:00 – Yes Julien, with the power of the Church you can be sexually reorientated. Believe!
14:00 – Not once does the guy mention that he loves his wife. Sometimes the loudest words are the ones not spoken.
14:01 – More obviously stock footage as Shane’s cock is killed. He’s really cut up about it.
14:02 – Viking burial for Frank!
14:02 – Sexy Rooster polaroids entice the guy in, Shane goes for him and screws the pooch.
14:03 – Lem to the rescue!
14:04 – Shane’s screwed the plan for the money. Lem’s not pleased, who can blame him. Money and women make Shane stupid.
14:04 – Vic confronts Gilroy.
14:04 – Gilroy offers to cut Vic in, Vic’s interested. Or is he?
14:05 – Was the bounty hunter Escobar from Nip/Tuck?
14:05 – “You mess with me again and I’m gonna kick your redneck ass.” – Lem making his displeasure clear with Shane.
14:06 – More Dookie. But this time someone’s willing to point him out, she even carved her name on the back and there’s her picture frame with her picture in it. I think Dookie’s taking a trip downtown.
14:07 – “Ain’t no love in the hood for Dookie?”
14:07 – Someone leaked the 911 tapes, that’s going to kick off a few problems.
14:08 – Gilroy’s at Vic’s house. Bad Gilroy, you’ve crossed a HUGE line here. You don’t touch Vic’s family, EVER.
14:09 – That’s one way to break up a demonstration and there’s nothing like gunfire to kick off a riot.
14:10 – Shane’s right this time, Gilroy’s way over that line.
14:12 – Burning police cars, thrown bottles, riot police. Now that’s the way to end an episode!
14:13 – Time for the final episode of the season.
14:13 – Circles.
14:15 – Looks like the riot’s still going on.
14:15 – Pull back or turn them loose? Aceveda sends them in. I’m sure it’ll work out all sunshine and rainbows.
14:16 – Seems I was wrong, it’s worked out as tear gas, flames and casualties.
14:17 – If only you’d admitted the truth to Corrine there Vic.
14:18 – Dead police and Julien plus Danny are under handgun fire. Pretty accurate fire considering the range, but The Shield is ‘Hollywood rules’ for action – so it’s all good.
14:20 – That’s the ticket Vic, use Dutch’s skills. Don’t try and mislead him.
14:21 – Aww, Julien and Danny are finally bonding.
14:22 – Two more dead cops, the red shirts are really falling now. Watch yourself out there Ronnie!
14:23 – Shane and Vic flush out a witness with a little headology.
14:23 – Wow, Vic just jumped straight through that fence to arrest him.
14:24 – Does Vic always carry around a little cocaine on him just in case he needs to plant evidence on someone? He should stay away from sniffer dogs then.
14:25 – Gilroy’s back in the Barn. Look at the balls on him.
14:26 – Gilroy’s blackmailing Vic into line. That’s not going to end well.
14:27 – Time for another uneasy alliance between Vic and Aceveda. “Help me take down a dirty cop.” Ah, irony.
14:28 – That’s a nice deal Aceveda’s being offered. He’ll come up smelling like roses and it’s almost all legitimate.
14:30 – Vic’s already at the end of his tether with Corrine, he sounds almost desperate on the phone there.
14:31 – Hey, it’s Tio.
14:32 – Now Gilroy’s trying to land Vic in the frame for his actions, don’t listen to him David!
14:32 – Don’t go shooting out the stained glass windows in the Barn people.
14:34 – Doesn’t Vic and Co get tired of kicking down stained doors in dirty hovels?
14:35 – “I still got one vein working” – The man’s a human pincushion.
14:36 – She called them out for her arthritis medicine? The nerve!
14:37 – That guy is as ragged as the cast members of The Corner.
14:38 – You don’t hold a cop badge and expect to be treated sweetly.
14:38 – Now that’s GOT to hurt.
14:39 – “You look fine to me.” - You shoot cops and all bets are off sonny.
14:40 – “Screw your mother in the ass Tio” – “Already did twice this morning, bitch.” - Can you feel the love.
14:41 – David’s found Gilroy’s woman.
14:44 – Looks like she’s willing to sell Gilroy up the river, but Vic’s in the frame for cleaning it up. How’s David going to wiggle out of this?
14:45 – Look out Vic, Gilroy planted the gun at your home. Time to fess up.
14:46 – David’s made his choice. Looks like Vic’s in the clear for the moment. But now it’s a recreation of the opening episode, except instead of Terry, it’s Aceveda who’s the outsider with the Strike Team. Uh-oh!
14:48 – He’s got one of them, but look out behind you Vic!
14:48 – Phew, Aceveda saved him.
14:49 – You’ve lost your job David! But at least you did the right thing.
14:50 – Surprise Gilroy! Vic found the gun and is waiting for you.
14:51 – Gilroy’s an inch away from making the “we’re alike, you and I” speech.
14:52 – Shane’s a bit keen to shoot Gilroy.
14:53 – Looking fine there Danny.
14:54 – And Gilroy arrives in cuffs. Into the cage you go mister.
14:55 – Coldplay over the closing scenes. Now that is a cliché!
14:56 – Sorry Vic, she’s run off with the kids!
14:56 – Dutch and Claudette are already back into the rotation.
14:56 – Look what it all cost you Vic. Would you like a T-Shirt with “Was it worth it?” printed on it?
14:56 – Aceveda comes up trumps, Vic’s in the dumps. I guess there’s a moral to this season.
14:57 – After allowing himself a moment to feel, Vic puts on the mask again, picks up his gun and heads out of his home.
End of season.
I think the most important issue to deal with here is understanding the 'original sin' - the shooting of Terry Crowely. Now while it's indicated that Vic and the Strike Team are dirty before the beginning of this show - they more or less explode onto the screens fully formed and we judge them on the basis of the pilot episode. This is one of the reasons why I'm of the opinion the show would have been better served if the events of the pilot episode were pulled back half a dozen episodes. Because Vic's judged on the shooting of Terry, that's his original sin - that's the huge thing we see him do; and it's done so fast, so coldly that everything afterwards is coloured by it.
The thing is, it's clear from his later actions that the shooting of Terry is the exception to the rule, it's the time he crossed the line. While he's not shown any real remorse, or at least expressed it on camera, it is clear from his actions with Gilroy at the end of the season that he can't shoot another cop in cold blood - Terry was enough for him, he did it on impulse and now there's no going back. But he doesn't intend to repeat his mistake.
And that's it, the shooting of Terry was an impulsive crime of passion, he didn't set up the situation. It just fell into place and he took advantage of it. But placed in a similar situation later on he's completely unable to pull the trigger on Gilroy - a man who's genuinely more threatening to Vic's way of life than Terry ever was.
Shane on the other hand is already a worry, he starts acting out when they're 'babysitting' Tripp and by the end of this season he's willing to shoot Gilroy for Vic. While Vic went over the line and isn't willing to go there again, Shane was involved also - while he didn't pull the trigger he's so close to Vic he still feels like he did. But Shane's reaction is different, as far as Shane's concerned it's all about the path of least resistance. They shot a cop once, why not repeat it.
That's the main point I really wanted to get across as far as Vic is concerned, it's very easy to see everything he does stained with his actions from the pilot episode (actions which took place to make the pilot episode a big shock) but you do need to realise that shooting other police is not Vic's normal response. When he thinks about it for even a moment longer than the impulse he can't do it.
For the record, it's Dragonchasers which remains my favourite episode of the first season. That's the episode where I stopped considering Dutch and Claudette as a distraction from the Strike Team and began to appreciate the duo as characters and storylines in their own right. It's such an amazing earnt moment for Dutch, he's the one who identified the killings as being the work of a serial killer, and it's his instinct which brought the guy in over something which was only loosely related. It takes an incredible mind to be able to spot the connections between someone jerking off in an alley and the ramifications behind that.
He absolutely deserved the applause from everyone when he stepped out of that interview room. But it was also a massive humiliation for him to endure that abuse from the man in order to buy time. Abuse which he shrugged off as being false/water off a ducks back - but clearly hit home hard as the end of the episode shows him breaking down in the car.
While the first season of The Shield is an amazing one, it's really just the beginning of the journey. There's another seventy six episodes left to go. So I'm going to press on later today with the first disc of season two. I'm realyl looking forward to it.